A light in the darkness? It’s not what we think!

I was challenged and inspired by the Word I heard in my church today about being a children of light in the darkness. The preacher said that the church should go out and shine the light where the darkness is and not just remain within the four walls where there is already light. This is a very important truth that every church should hear and has heard in the past. But the key question that came to my mind is why aren’t the churches doing it? Why are the churches who started such activities in the past with great zeal have stopped it?

Jesus taught us how to be a light in the darkness. He spent 3 years with his disciples teaching and equipping them. He asked them to wait for the Holy Spirit and pray as a group in the upper room. He told them “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”.

In other words, Jesus knew the importance of being a praying and a committed team before going out to the ends of the earth. He knew that “being a light in the darkness” is not just being excited about and jumping into that great idea. It demands time, commitment and sacrifice from a group of people who are willing to surrender their lives for this cause and pray without ceasing.

Throughout the bible God appreciates team work, commitment and prayer which is the key ingredient and foundation for any church to go out into the world to be a light in the darkness. Paul had a team of people who he can rely on. Gideon had a team of people. Joshua had a team of people. Even Jesus had a team of people.

When Saul and his people were surrounded by the Philistines, Jonathan his son said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

Isn’t it amazing that Jonathan understood that victory will come only by stepping into the enemies territory i.e. the kingdom of darkness and not by sitting in the kingdom of light just like his father and his armies were doing? But Jonathan also understood that it cannot be done alone and it requires a team work. I am always amazed by the unwavering commitment given by his armor-bearer to him. The armor-bearer said. “Do all that you have in mind,…Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” We all need such people in our team who can say to each other, “I am with you heart and soul” before we take any steps to annihilate the kingdom of darkness!

When Jesus sent the disciples out, the bible says he sent them two by two!

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Jesus sent them to be lambs among wolves in other words light in the darkness. He understood the importance of team work.

Sadly many people in this day and age don’t have time to be part of a team, pray and wait on the Lord before venturing to preach the gospel. Many people don’t understand the power of a team in unity and having oneness of purpose which can shake and destroy the kingdom of darkness. Many people don’t understand that being a light in the darkness demands everything from us including our time and comfort. Some Christians in this fast paced world are like sons of Sceva in the book of Acts who only saw the results of Paul’s ministry but never understood the sacrifice of Paul’s life and his team.  John Wesley said, “Give me ten men that hate nothing but sin and love nothing but God and we will change the world.” Two thousand years back 11 people who gathered in the upper room with oneness, commitment, unity and prayer changed the world upside down. I wonder what will happen if every church has a team of people who are willing to do this. We will not only be a light in the darkness but we will totally destroy the kingdom of darkness. So before every church prepares to be a light in the kingdom of darkness we should learn to build a team of people who are equipped for this great cause even if that means preaching where there is already light for some time!

 

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